SYLLABUS

Click on links to get to information and questions about the authors and works

illustration from Zamiatin's WE

WEEK 1

January 20: Background, reading list, syllabus; discuss final reading

January 22: Konstantin Tsiolkovskii, "On the Moon: A Fantastic Tale," plus Nikolai Fyodorov, "The Question of Brotherhood..." - both on Moodle.

Information on Tsiolkovsky and Fyodorov and questions for reading

WEEK 2

January 27: Nikolai Chernyshevsky, "Vera Pavlovna's Dream," Worlds Apart, pp. 248-58; Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Grand Inquisitor" (Bookstore) and "Dream of a Ridiculous Man," Worlds Apart, pp. 276-90; Nikolai Chernyshevsky, "Vera Pavlova's Fourth Dream," Worlds Apart, pp. 248-58

Information and Questions on Dostoevsky and Chernyshevsky

January 29: Aleksandr Bogdanov, Red Star, introduction, pp. 1-16, and 17-140

Information and Questions on Bogdanov

 

WEEK 3

February 3: Valery Briusov, "The Republic of the Southern Cross," WA, 303-17; Alexander Kuprin, "The Toast" and "Liquid Sunshine," WA, 348-92 (also on Moodle).

Information and Questions on Briusov and Kuprin

February 5: Karel Čapek, R.U.R.

Information and Questions on Čapek and R.U.R. 

 

WEEK 4

February 10: Evgenii Zamiatin, We

Information and Questions on We

February 12: Alexei N. Tolstoy, from "Aèlita, Queen of Mars," Worlds Apart, pp. 555-83; clip from Yakov Protazanov's Aèlita; Andrei Platonov, from "The Sun, the Moon, and the Ether Channel," in Worlds Apart, pp. 584-615 (also on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Aèlita

Information and Questions on Platonov and The Sun, the Moon, and the Ether Channel

Possible topics for the first paper, due February 24

WEEK 5

February 17: Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading, Foreword and Chapters 1-20

Information and Questions on Nabokov and Invitation to a Beheading

February 19: Mikhail Bulgakov, "The Fatal Eggs," Worlds Apart, pp. 471-529 (also on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Bulgakov's "Fatal Eggs"

WEEK 6

February 24: Karel Čapek, War with the Newts, Book One, pp. 9-114

Information and Questions on Čapek's War with the Newts

FIRST PAPER DUE  Feb 24!

February 26: War with the Newts, Books Two and Three, pp. 117-241

Big Issues in the course to date

WEEK 7

March 3: Josef Nesvadba, "Expedition in the Opposite Direction," pp. 50-84, and "Inventor of His Own Undoing," pp. 142-164; Zamiatin, "On Literature, Revolution, Entropy, and Other Matters" (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Nesvadba

March 5: Ivan Efremov, from The Andromeda Nebula, in Worlds Apart, pp. 616-46; Sofya Khagi, "On Contemporary Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction," WA, pp. 647-50 (also on Moodle).

Information and Questions on Efremov

 

SPRING BREAK

 

WEEK 8

March 17: Stanisław Lem, Solaris

Information and Questions on Lem and Solaris

Big Issues in Solaris

March 19: Soviet SF stories: Vladlen Bakhnov, "The Fifth on the Left," pp. 142-55; Sever Gansovsky, "Vincent Van Gogh," pp. 52-118; Ilya Varshavsky, "No Alarming Symptoms," pp. 1-14 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on these writers and stories

 

WEEK 9

March 24:  Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky, Escape Attempt pp. 3-100 (on Moodle)

Information and questions about the Strugatskys and Escape Attempt

Midtern exam due!

March 26: Kirill Bulychëv, "I Was the First to Find You," pp. 50-63, "May I Please Speak to Nina?" pp. 78-90, "Snowmaiden," pp. 103-13 (on Moodle)

Information and Questions on Bulychëv

WEEK 10

March 31: Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Hard to Be a God

Information and questions about Hard to Be a God

April 2: Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic

Information and questions about Roadside Picnic  

 

WEEK 11

April 7: Stanisław Lem, The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age

Information and questions about Cyberiad

April 9: Vladimir Savchenko, "Mixed Up," traslated by Kevin Reese (on Moodle)

Information and questions on Savchenko and "Mixed Up"

WEEK 12

April 14: 

Lem, Futurological Congress, pp. 1-149

Information and questions on Lem's Futurological Congress

LONG PAPER OR WEB PRESENTATION DUE!

April 16: 

More Soviet SF stories: Olga Larionova, "Temira," pp. 1-30; Larionova, "The Useless Planet," pp. 80-121; Valentina Zhuravleva, "The Brat," pp. 31-40 (also available as "Hussy" in another translation, if you're interested in comparing them, pp. 143-151) (all on Moodle)

Information and questions about Larionova and Zhuravleva

 

WEEK 13

April 21: Viktor Pelevin, Omon Ra

Information about Pelevin and questions on Omon Ra

 

April 23: Some Theory and Criticism: Stefan Kisielewski, "What is Socialist Literature," and Stefan Zolkiewski, "Is 'Socialist Literaure' Enough?," pp. 366-372; Mary Roach, "In Space, Nice Guys Finish First," pp. 1-2; Stanislaw Lem, "About the Strugatskys' Roadside Picnic," pp. 243-78; Fredric Jameson, "Vareties of the Utopian," pp. 1-9; Carl Freedman, "Science Fiction and Critical Theory," pp. 180-200 (on Moodle)

Brief introductions to the authors of these texts

WEEK 14

April 28: Andrei Dichenko, "Energy," "The Poet Execution Committee," "The Red Baroness," translated by Andrea Gregovich (on Moodle)

Information and Questions about Dichenko and these stories

April 30: Final discussion.

SPECIAL PROJECT DUE!

Let me know if you have questions about the Special Project.

Final Examination will be a three-hour self-scheduled written exam, posted on Moodle, due to me no later than May 16.